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What to Do When You Have No Friends and Feel Lonely

What to Do When You Have No Friends and Feel Lonely

If you have no friends, it feels like you’ll be lonely for life and it’s likely to say “I have no friends at all.”

Of course, that’s not true.

You can still make new friends even if you find yourself in a situation with no friend in sight. This happens when you move to a new city, break up with someone that was your only friend and lover, or make important changes in your lifestyle.

Here are important steps that can take you from being lonely to having the friends you want.

Understand Loneliness and Shyness

Loneliness and shyness can cause misunderstanding and misinterpreted feelings. Understanding the right meanings of loneliness and shyness is the key to overcoming them.

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Loneliness, for instance, is nothing more than a signal your body generates when you’re not experiencing any social connection. It signals to you that the need for social connection is as important as eating or drinking.

If you misunderstand the state of loneliness, you could get stuck in it for no reason whatsoever, especially when you have no friends and don’t know how to deal with it.

Shyness, on the other hand, is the fear of social criticism. Let me say that again: It’s the fear of social criticism.

In other words, shyness is just the fear of something that might happen, but probably won’t.

If you misunderstand shyness and therefore hide or withdraw from people, they will most likely interpret that as you rejecting them.

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Even if your intentions are good and you are just avoiding rejection out of shyness, people can misunderstand those actions as an insult to their value. This can make them think you are snobbish or conceited, and they will, in turn, start rejecting you.

Master Conversation and Social Skills

Conversation is the blood vein of social connection. If you master it, you’ll get all the friends and influence you want.

One important factor is the ability to keep a conversation going. In order to do this, you need to learn to get interested in others and ask them questions about themselves.

You also want find a way to connect with and speak intelligently to the topic of conversation. Finding that common ground in conversation is what guarantees that people will want to spend more time in your company.

If you look for more useful ways to improve your social skills, check out this article:

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12 Ways To Improve Social Skills And Make You Sociable Anytime

Learn to Make Friends and Build Your Social Circle

The first thing to know about making friends is that it is a skill. It’s not something you’re born with, as many people like to believe.

Making friends is not a magical ability that only a few have. It is a learned skill. Most of us learned how to make friends when we were little but many of us need to learn the new skill of making friends as adults.

To do that, you need to find groups of people that meet up regularly and have interests that are similar to your own. You also need to learn how to find commonalities with these people beyond that first common interest in order to turn your new acquaintances into friends.

If you feel like you are bonding with an individual, meet up with them once or twice in a social setting. If all goes well, you should meet up with them regularly in order to maintain and strengthen the bond.

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Final thoughts

These are all skills that you can learn how to do. It’s not that complicated when you know how. You can keep making good friends no matter what your age is.

After you have made a few friends, the next step is to introduce them to each other. If you do that, you will arrive at what we call a social circle: a nice circle of friends that works with you in making plans, introduces new people into the group, and creates amazing experiences that you will enjoy together.

Once you have a nice circle of friends, you’re no longer the only one trying to improve your social life. Your close friends will help you out with it, too!

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

More by this author

Paul Sanders

A communication expert who tries to help people improve their social skills and make friends anywhere.

How To Be More Social If You Are an Introvert How to Keep a Conversation Going and Never Run Out of Things to Say What to Do When You Have No Friends and Feel Lonely 7 Tips How to Make Friends During College 5 Reasons Why Your Social Life Isn’t Improving, And What To Do About It

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Last Updated on February 11, 2021

Easily Misunderstood by Others? 6 Barriers You Should Overcome to Make Communication Less Frustrating

Easily Misunderstood by Others? 6 Barriers You Should Overcome to Make Communication Less Frustrating

How often have you said something simple, only to have the person who you said this to misunderstand it or twist the meaning completely around? Nodding your head in affirmative? Then this means that you are being unclear in your communication.

Communication should be simple, right? It’s all about two people or more talking and explaining something to the other. The problem lies in the talking itself, somehow we end up being unclear, and our words, attitude or even the way of talking becomes a barrier in communication, most of the times unknowingly. We give you six common barriers to communication, and how to get past them; for you to actually say what you mean, and or the other person to understand it as well…

The 6 Walls You Need to Break Down to Make Communication Effective

Think about it this way, a simple phrase like “what do you mean” can be said in many different ways and each different way would end up “communicating” something else entirely. Scream it at the other person, and the perception would be anger. Whisper this is someone’s ear and others may take it as if you were plotting something. Say it in another language, and no one gets what you mean at all, if they don’t speak it… This is what we mean when we say that talking or saying something that’s clear in your head, many not mean that you have successfully communicated it across to your intended audience – thus what you say and how, where and why you said it – at times become barriers to communication.[1]

Perceptual Barrier

The moment you say something in a confrontational, sarcastic, angry or emotional tone, you have set up perceptual barriers to communication. The other person or people to whom you are trying to communicate your point get the message that you are disinterested in what you are saying and sort of turn a deaf ear. In effect, you are yelling your point across to person who might as well be deaf![2]

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The problem: When you have a tone that’s not particularly positive, a body language that denotes your own disinterest in the situation and let your own stereotypes and misgivings enter the conversation via the way you talk and gesture, the other person perceives what you saying an entirely different manner than say if you said the same while smiling and catching their gaze.

The solution: Start the conversation on a positive note, and don’t let what you think color your tone, gestures of body language. Maintain eye contact with your audience, and smile openly and wholeheartedly…

Attitudinal Barrier

Some people, if you would excuse the language, are simply badass and in general are unable to form relationships or even a common point of communication with others, due to their habit of thinking to highly or too lowly of them. They basically have an attitude problem – since they hold themselves in high esteem, they are unable to form genuine lines of communication with anyone. The same is true if they think too little of themselves as well.[3]

The problem: If anyone at work, or even in your family, tends to roam around with a superior air – anything they say is likely to be taken by you and the others with a pinch, or even a bag of salt. Simply because whenever they talk, the first thing to come out of it is their condescending attitude. And in case there’s someone with an inferiority complex, their incessant self-pity forms barriers to communication.

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The solution: Use simple words and an encouraging smile to communicate effectively – and stick to constructive criticism, and not criticism because you are a perfectionist. If you see someone doing a good job, let them know, and disregard the thought that you could have done it better. It’s their job so measure them by industry standards and not your own.

Language Barrier

This is perhaps the commonest and the most inadvertent of barriers to communication. Using big words, too much of technical jargon or even using just the wrong language at the incorrect or inopportune time can lead to a loss or misinterpretation of communication. It may have sounded right in your head and to your ears as well, but if sounded gobbledygook to the others, the purpose is lost.

The problem: Say you are trying to explain a process to the newbies and end up using every technical word and industry jargon that you knew – your communication has failed if the newbie understood zilch. You have to, without sounding patronizing, explain things to someone in the simplest language they understand instead of the most complex that you do.

The solution: Simplify things for the other person to understand you, and understand it well. Think about it this way: if you are trying to explain something scientific to a child, you tone it down to their thinking capacity, without “dumbing” anything down in the process.[4]

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Emotional Barrier

Sometimes, we hesitate in opening our mouths, for fear of putting our foot in it! Other times, our emotional state is so fragile that we keep it and our lips zipped tightly together lest we explode. This is the time that our emotions become barriers to communication.[5]

The problem: Say you had a fight at home and are on a slow boil, muttering, in your head, about the injustice of it all. At this time, you have to give someone a dressing down over their work performance. You are likely to transfer at least part of your angst to the conversation then, and talk about unfairness in general, leaving the other person stymied about what you actually meant!

The solution: Remove your emotions and feelings to a personal space, and talk to the other person as you normally would. Treat any phobias or fears that you have and nip them in the bud so that they don’t become a problem. And remember, no one is perfect.

Cultural Barrier

Sometimes, being in an ever-shrinking world means that inadvertently, rules can make cultures clash and cultural clashes can turn into barriers to communication. The idea is to make your point across without hurting anyone’s cultural or religious sentiments.

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The problem: There are so many ways culture clashes can happen during communication and with cultural clashes; it’s not always about ethnicity. A non-smoker may have problems with smokers taking breaks; an older boss may have issues with younger staff using the Internet too much.

The solution: Communicate only what is necessary to get the point across – and eave your personal sentiments or feelings out of it. Try to be accommodative of the other’s viewpoint, and in case you still need to work it out, do it one to one, to avoid making a spectacle of the other person’s beliefs.[6]

Gender Barrier

Finally, it’s about Men from Mars and Women from Venus. Sometimes, men don’t understand women and women don’t get men – and this gender gap throws barriers in communication. Women tend to take conflict to their graves, literally, while men can move on instantly. Women rely on intuition, men on logic – so inherently, gender becomes a big block in successful communication.[7]

The problem: A male boss may inadvertently rub his female subordinates the wrong way with anti-feminism innuendoes, or even have problems with women taking too many family leaves. Similarly, women sometimes let their emotions get the better of them, something a male audience can’t relate to.

The solution: Talk to people like people – don’t think or classify them into genders and then talk accordingly. Don’t make comments or innuendos that are gender biased – you don’t have to come across as an MCP or as a bra-burning feminist either. Keep gender out of it.

And remember, the key to successful communication is simply being open, making eye contact and smiling intermittently. The battle is usually half won when you say what you mean in simple, straightforward words and keep your emotions out of it.

Reference

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